Winning photos of life with a disability announced

The winners of Firstport’s Life Through a Lens photography competition have been announced, and they, along with other entries, can now be viewed in an online exhibition (external website)  

The Firstport website invited New Zealanders to submit photos reflecting their view of life with a disability. Entries were then to be used across the site to make it more engaging and ‘real’ for visitors rather than using stock photography.

The judges were blown away by the beautiful photos that were submitted, all showing an authentic perspective of life with a disability.

It’s wasn’t just about the photos, though – Firstport wanted the stories behind the photos, to know who the people in them were, and how the image represents their achievements, struggles or everyday life experiences. Accompanying each photo is a description explaining it.

Andy Lowe, CEO of Te Manawa museum in Palmerston North, and one of our judges says knowing the story behind the photos adds an important dimension to the concept.

“I found it valuable because it provided a window into the photo itself, and that added another layer to the story,” he says.

One of the other judges, Neil Wallace – himself a person with a disability – says the competition was valuable because it offered a holistic view of the disabled life.

He says the lives of people with disabilities are usually represented by the extreme highs or lows of life, but the in-between stuff often gets left out.

“It’s the wholeness of the person that this competition allows people to get into. There’s sides of disability I haven’t seen expressed before in these photos.”

To promote the competition, Firstport will be posting updates on Facebook over the next few weeks, encouraging people to view the gallery of the photos and their stories.  Visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FirstportNZ (external website)